Pre-doctoral fellow, Alejandro Albizu, receives NSF graduate fellowship. Albizu works with UF associate professor, Adam Woods, Ph. D.
Changes in the communication between brain regions has been implicated in many brain disorders, yet methods to correct these issues remain unknown. Transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) is a safe form of weak, non-invasive brain stimulation to alter brain function. tES has seen tremendous promise in improving cognitive, mental health, and chronic pain outcomes in several clinical trials. However, recent studies suggest that differences in head anatomy between people require personalized strategies to ensure effective dosing. To date, this has not yet been achieved.
“Our study proposes to estimate the stimulation dose at an individual level and apply artificial intelligence to determine the precise dose to maximize the positive effects of stimulation per person,” says Albizu.
Titled, “Enhancing Brain Networks via Machine-Learning Defined Precision tES,” the proposed study is both clinically and scientifically significant, says Albizu. “Scientifically, our proposal provides researchers with the ability to precisely alter human brain networks to non-invasively investigate the complexities of the human brain and advance human connectome theory. Clinically, tES has already demonstrated promise in many clinical populations. Thus, a personalized medicine model of tES has great potential to intervene or even prevent many neural pathologies.”
Albizu says he is incredibly honored to receive this fellowship and hopes to live up to the achievements of the NSF GRFP alumni before him.
“I could not have achieved this without the support and mentorship of Dr. Adam J. Woods and Dr. Ruogu Fang, our collaborators, and the members of our lab!”